There are times in writing a blog about politics when it seems like all you do is right about the latest outrages, moral depredations and bankrupt ideas spewing forth from the Moral Majority. Today is no exception. My brother sent me the following article which really opens one’s eyes as to how far backward this country can go in reneging on women’s rights and how quickly.
But first a preface: my mother is a bitter, rather withdrawn woman. She rarely, if ever shares her deepest personal feelings, even with those close to her. So it was with infinite surprise I heard this story. In the early 1950s, she was a new wife living in Washington Heights (New York City). She went into the local pharmacy and asked for condoms. The pharmacist replied that he couldn’t sell women condoms. She doubtless felt terribly ashamed to be rejected in such a way.
Now, fifty years have gone by and women are still subject to such humiliation and it’s a crying shame. But today, women don’t have to take such insults lying down as my mother did.
With George Bush’s re-election the Moral Majority is on the rise again. Beating back gay marriage, abortion rights, and even contraception are high on the agenda of religious fundamentalists. USA Today ran an eye-opening article, Druggists refuse to give out pill, describing an incipient movement by some of the nation’s pharmacists to refuse to sell contraceptives to women. Strangely, the pharmacists’ professional association and impending state laws allow such outrageous behavior.
The American Pharmacists Association, with 50,000 members, has a policy that says druggists can refuse to fill prescriptions if they object on moral grounds, but they must make arrangements so a patient can still get the pills. Yet some pharmacists have refused to hand the prescription to another druggist to fill.
…States from Rhode Island to Washington have proposed laws that would protect such decisions.
I say, if you want to be a pharmacist you must sell the standard inventory of what customers want to buy. If you don’t want to sell such items for whatever reason, well, you shouldn’t be a pharmacist. Pick another profession that doesn’t involve making moral judgments about your customers.
The most outrageous behavior concerns the pharmacists who not only refuse to sell contraceptives, but actually confiscate the prescription form and refuse to return it. This in turn forces the customer to return to the doctor to get a new one.
In Madison, Wis., a pharmacist faces possible disciplinary action by the state pharmacy board for refusing to transfer a woman’s prescription for birth-control pills to another druggist or to give the slip back to her. He would not refill it because of his religious views.
I say sue their ass. Demonstrate as the courageous women in the accompanying photo have done. Let the company which owns the pharmacy know that not only will this specific pharmacy be boycotted, but their entire chain might face a national boycott. When this kind of outrageous morally aggressive behavior becomes the norm, there’s only one recourse–fight back!
I’m mightily impressed by your blog, how it looks and its content.
I do wish, though, the lady in the photo had used the subjunctive mood, clearly called for in “What if your daughter were [should be italicized] raped?”
Recently, a pharmacist in my neck of the woods, Laconia, New Hampshire, refused to sell the morning-after brew.
I say congratulations that there are some of us left who have a conscience and a moral sense.
We’ve made it far too easy, I suspect, to have abortions, to use contraceptives, and to procure a divorce through no-fault law. Perhaps we’re in another Great Awakening that America periodically goes through to reform itself morally.
I say No to sluthood, Yes to being a mother, following G-d’s first mitzva. Sounds like tikkun olam to me. What do you think?
Richard Silverstein says
How strange. Brent claims he’s “mightily impressed” by my blog & its content, then proceeds to spout views diametrically opposed to mine. What exactly were you impressed by Brent?
And one of Brent’s important comments on the photo accompanying this post is that the demonstrating woman holds a sign saying, “What if your daughter WAS raped” instead of the more grammatically acceptable “What if your daughter WERE raped?” Really Brent, if your daughter WAS raped you wouldn’t be splitting hairs over grammar.
I say to your pharmacist “hero” in Laconia who refused to sell the morning after pill: “I hope you’re brought up on state professional charges and sued by the customer to whom you refused service.”
And Brent, what do you know about being a mother, abortions, women’s contraceptives or rape? It’s always those like Brent (or Catholic priests) who know nothing about these issues who tell women how they should live their lives. I hope in your next life you come back as a woman & then find out what it’s like to deal with these things. Maybe then you wouldn’t throw around such odious & ultimately ridiculous terms like “slut.”
For those of my readers who don’t understand Brent’s obscure reference to the “first mitzva,” he’s referring to God’s command after throwing Adam and Eve out of the garden that they should “procreate and multiply and fill the land.”
My dear Brent, God doesn’t say we have to mate like bunnies and have 17 children to a family like many Catholic and Orthodox Jewish familiies do. God doesn’t say to women: “have 17 children and die in childbirth” or “have 17 children and wreck your body so you can’t enjoy the children you HAVE produced.” He tells us to procreate. Many of us do that while we use contraception to plan when we want chidren and how many we want. God doesn’t tell us we cannot control our fertility, though Orthodox Jews like Brent believe that controlling human fertility is God’s job and not our own.
For me, I reject this interpretation of Jewish law. God wants us to be happy and healthy human beings. He wants us to have children. He doesn’t want us to have so many we end up in the nuthouse (and believe me I come from a family in which five children was too many and constituted a severely dysfunctional family).
And as for ‘tikun olam’ (repairing the world through good deeds), Brent, having ANY children is tikun olam, even one. Having 5 or 10 or 17 children who are raised with minimal love and care and who end up being wards of the state or worse…where’s the tikun olam in that?? If contraception prevents even one case of this type of thing happening, then it’s a godsend to society, not a curse as you believe.
Brent Anderson says
I just now read your response. Sorry it’s been so long.
The West is dying for lack of babies. I would think one who entitles his website as you do would realize that it’s not the lack of contraception; rather, the lack of doing G-d’s will–married women–of sound body and mind–voluntarily not having at least three children. Most contraception is used, not as the accompanying photo states it, but for premarital sex.
The problem is men using women as a receptacle for their sperm–not taking responsibility. Sexuality is a gift; contraception certainly can be used in a loving marriage–I have no problem with that.–but I like people responding to their consciences and Church by making the world just a wee bit more of a hassle for sluts.
A woman who’s been raped certainly should be able to receive immediate medical assistance, including access to the morning-after pill.
People need to be responsible for their actions. Paradoxically, though, the Sexual Revolution has been an unmitigated disaster for women. Can’t you see that?
I’m sorry if you can’t see how predatory men are being with women. Contraception is the cause, not the solution.
Brent Anderson says
It just came to my attention that of the two of us, I’m the Jew.
Isn’t life strange when the goy has to teach the Jew how to be a Jew?
Richard Silverstein says
A smarmy comment like the one Brent made just above deserves a reply & I’m going to give it to him with both barrels:
Don’t you dare say that to me! That’s an incredibly stupid, insulting & idiotic statement to make no matter what your motivation. I am a Jew proud of my religion & heritage & I resent a poseur like yourself claiming you have a monopoly on the definition of what a good Jew is. I don’t need you of all people telling me how to be a Jew.
As for the comment you left just above your last, it’s full of a lot of balderdash, but let me begin with what I agree with: I applaud you for coming to the reasonable & compassionate conclusion that a women raped should have access to the morning after pill. Regretably many of your compatriots in the anti-choice movement aren’t even willing to provide that to such women.
I can also agree with you that many men have a predatory attitude toward women. But contraception is most definitely the cause of such behavior. There have always been men who were predators even well before contraception came along. Alas, there will probably always be such individuals.
I don’t know why you can’t see that by prohibiting women to have access to contraception you are turning them into chattel subject to the baby-production whims of sexual partners who’d like nothing more than have scads of children (witness families with 15 or more children in the Orthodox Jewish, Mormon, Muslim and other cultures). My Jewish God wants women to be able to determine the life they wish to lead whether it be as mother, wife (with no children), working woman or single woman. Your God wants women to be one general thing & one thing alone, babymaker-homemaker. I’m not against such a choice, but only if it’s made by the woman’s free will. You would deny her such free will.
Only someone as uninformed as yourself could state that contraception is used mostly by those engaging in premarital sex. My wife and I used contraception and millions of other married couples use it as well.